If you’re anything like us, the word “microbiome” gives you flashbacks of high school health class, learning all the nitty-gritty details about gut health. And while the microbiome is an important part of your internal health, it also plays a vital part in your outward appearance, too. The reason? Your skin contains a microbiome as well, and if you don’t look after it carefully, you’ll likely be able to see the consequences.
So, what exactly is this microbiome layer that encases your body? According to Brian Goodwin, the International Educator for Eminence Organics, “the skin’s microbiome is a unique, invisible community of trillions of living microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microbes that live throughout the layers of the skin.”
It turns out that this ecosystem of bacteria is critical for giving your skin a healthy, glowing appearance. “The microbiome on the epidermis is uniquely diverse, varying in some degree from person to person, and the role it plays in maintaining our skin’s health is virtually limitless,” confirms Goodwin.
Considering our microbiome is a complex component of our skin (and that not many people actually understand its importance), we decided to break down exactly what a healthy microbiome can do for you, along with the exact products to use in order to ensure your microbiome is working at its optimal level.
What makes the microbiome so important?
The microbiome defends your skin against harmful aggressors.
The skin’s barrier has long been touted as a critical reason people experience various skin conditions like eczema and acne. After all, it protects the skin against external threats that often cause these issues in the first place. A healthy microbiome can work in tandem with your skin barrier to keep your defenses high against these threats. “Along with keeping skin healthy and resilient to stressful environmental exposure, the microbiome is a critical component of the skin’s immune system and barrier function, working as a defensive shield to keep harmful microbes in check and prevent potentially damaging foreign particles, such as pollution, from entering in,” explains Goodwin.
2. It helps to keep your skin hydrated.
Not only does the microbiome keep “the bad” out, but it also keeps “the good” in by keeping our skin barrier strong. “Our skin’s barrier function also protects the skin’s precious water reserves and hydration levels, both of which are essential to achieving optimally functioning skin,” explains Goodwin. By retaining hydration, your skin will naturally have a more luminous glow.
3. It helps avoid unwanted skin conditions.
Even though your microbiome is invisible to the naked eye, its importance in the health of all skin types shouldn’t be overlooked. “Virtually every negative symptom observed in the skin—including redness, irritation, breakouts, and dryness—can be signs of a possibly imbalanced microbiome,” explains Goodwin. “Accelerated aging, dehydration, and hyperpigmentation can also be a consequence of a compromised microbiome, meaning that fostering the microbiome’s health should be everyone’s goal, even if your skin appears to be totally healthy.
What products should you use to care for your microbiome?
When it comes to beauty products that properly care for the microbiome, the new Eminence Organics Kombucha Microbiome Collection — which includes a cleanser, essence, serum, and a leave-on mask — is a great option.
“The collection as a whole provides support to the microbiome of the skin through prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics,” explains Goodwin. These pre-, pro-, and postbiotics included in the products are important because they provide nutrients that function as food for the microbiome, allowing it to survive and thrive in the best way possible.
Within the collection, the Kombucha Microbiome Foaming Cleanser ($46) gently removes dirt, oil, and impurities without impacting the microbiome in a negative way (many cleansers contain harsh surfactants or foaming agents that can disrupt the delicate balance of the microbes on your skin, but not this one).
Another product in the collection, the Kombucha Microbiome Balancing Essence ($52), works to prime the skin before your full facial routine so that your other products can work better. According to Goodwin, it can also be added in any moisturizer to add pre-, pro-, and postbiotics to further enhance a moisturizer’s effects.
The Kombucha Microbiome Luminosity Serum ($110) is another favorite in the collection, brightening and soothing dull skin with added ingredients like kombucha, white tea, ginger and jasmine. Finally, the Kombucha Microbiome Leave-On Masque brings high-levels of moisture to your skin in addition to pampering the microbiome.
The bottom line
Ultimately, it’s fair to say that achieving a healthy microbiome should be at the top of everyone’s beauty routine to-do list. Considering it can help avoid (and even treat!) many skin conditions, we can’t talk highly enough about products that cater to our skin’s flora. So, do yourself a favor and stock up on products that indulge in your face’s bacteria levels.